When we spy a news story about American Christianity in the morning paper or on our computer screen – we’ve almost become conditioned that it’s going to be about how our faith is shrinking or about how more and more people are identifying as not religious at all. That seems to be the prevailing narrative.
But today, we shine a light on a story bucking that trend in a big way. We head On the Road and find a Midwestern faith community growing by leaps and bounds as it shares the truth of Jesus with people new to faith, people returning to faith, and those who know a church sanctuary like the back of their hand.
Embrace Church began in Sioux Falls with 32 members in the Fall of 2006. Today it is a thriving faith community of thousands, recognized as one of the fastest growing churches in America. The lead pastor of Embrace, Adam Weber, explains what it’s been like to be used by God in such an incredible way.
“It’s been amazing! What I love the most about it is that it’s so clear that it is God and not me or anyone else. I always pray, ‘God, would you move in such a way that none of us could take the credit?‘ And that’s been the story of it. It’s so outrageous what’s happening! I just know how regular I am.”
Adam reflects on the way he looked forward to Sunday mornings in the early days of Embrace, contrasting that with how we anticipates them today.
“I can remember early on there were Sundays that we truly wondered if anybody was going to come. Physically, would we have anybody that was going to show up and now, nine close to ten years later, I still feel that same exact way. Are people going to come? Ok there are thousands…this is insane…why are you here?'”
“I think, for me, it’s so cool because I feel like I have a front row seat to see God move in a powerful way. And, in those moments to not pat myself on the back in any way, but only to say, ‘God – You are so good. And You are so faithful. You can even use a fool like me to do something that’s just amazing.'”
“In seminary, one of the things that was always so hard to hear were these awesome, amazing stories about God moving on other continents and in other countries, but rarely did we ever hear about God moving in the United States. I always wondered, ‘Is God absent here? Is he done moving here?‘ And it’s so cool to see God move right here. It’s been a joy to see that.”
Highlight: The joy of God at work
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